The Last Olympian: Percy Jackson and the Olympians, Book 5

Common Sense Media says

Fantasy series' excellent conclusion ups the violence.

Age

2
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5
6
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8
9
10
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17

Quality(i)

 

What parents need to know

Educational value

Ancient Greek myths and characters are woven in throughout. 

Positive messages

Friendship triumphs over all.

Positive role models

Percy stands up for the rights of the downtrodden. He remains loyal to his friends and Camp Half-Blood. Grover becomes a true leader in his own right.

Violence

Lots -- far more than the earlier books in the series. The entire book is nearly nonstop battles, with many killings and injuries of major and minor characters and bystanders by sword, arrow, spear, gun, explosion, poison, acid, fire, claw, and tooth. Monsters are stabbed in the eye several times.

Sex

A couple of kisses.

Language
Not applicable
Consumerism

Car, motorcycle, toy, sneaker, electronics, clothing, drink, and peanut butter brands are mentioned.

Drinking, drugs, & smoking
Not applicable

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that the conclusion to this popular fantasy series has much more violence than the previous books. The whole thing is nearly nonstop battles, with many killings and injuries of major and minor characters and bystanders by various methods (including sword, arrow, spear, gun, explosion, poison, acid, fire, claw, and tooth). Many brand names are also mentioned, and some parents may be disturbed by the vision of the afterlife presented in the book.

Parents say

What's the story?

In the conclusion to the five-volume Percy Jackson and the Olympians series, Kronos and his vast armies of monsters and minor gods finally launch their assault on Mt. Olympus, which means attacking the island of Manhattan. Because the gods are away dealing with Typhon -- the worst monster of all time, who's escaped from his prison under Mt. St. Helens -- it is left to the vastly overmatched and outnumbered demigods, led by Percy, to protect New York and Olympus.

Is it any good?

QUALITY
 

The series thunders to an epic conclusion in this volume, and it's hard to imagine how it could possibly be more satisfying. Everything is amped up here -- the action and violence, to be sure, but also the friendships and relationships, the ethical dilemmas, the scope, and even the delving into the more arcane corners of Greek mythology. And Percy, the delightfully humorous and self-deprecating teen protagonist, comes charging fully into his own as a true hero, one who's fully in command of his powers but is also caring, concerned about others (including his enemies sometimes), and willing to let others be heroes, too, even at his own expense.

Amidst all the exciting action, with gigantic battles that ravage the United States and shake New York to its foundations, it's Percy's growth -- both heroically and personally and echoed by growth in many of the other characters (even the gods) -- that makes this book so tremendously satisfying for fans. Up until now, the books have been top-notch formula fiction. But with this concluding chapter, author Rick Riordan raises the whole series into that timeless realm of children's fantasy fiction that's likely to last well beyond its current popularity.

From the Book:
Inside, a row of yellow turbines the size of grain silos churned and hummed. Pressure gauges and computer terminals lined the opposite wall. A telkhine was hunched over a console, but he was so involved with his work, he didn't notice us. He was about five feet tall, with slick black seal fur and stubby little feet. He had the head of a Doberman, but his clawed hands were almost human. He growled and muttered as he tapped on his keyboard. Maybe he was messaging his friends on uglyface.com.

I stepped forward, and he tensed, probably smelling something was wrong. He leaped sideways toward a big red alarm button, but I blocked his path. He hissed and lunged at me, but one slice of Riptide, and he exploded into dust.

"One down," Beckendorf said. "About five thousand to go." He tossed me a jar of thick green liquid -- Greek fire, one of the most dangerous magical substances in the world. Then he threw me another essential tool of demigod heroes -- duct tape.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about the series' premise. What signs of Greek myth do we find in the modern world? Why do Greek myths have such enduring appeal? How have they shaped our culture? If we like the stories so much, why is the religion they come from not practiced any more?

  • Families can also discuss how the violence in this book compares to that in earlier volumes of the series. Is it gratuitous or necessary for the story? Did any of it bother you?

Book details

Author:Rick Riordan
Genre:Fantasy
Topics:Magic and fantasy
Book type:Fiction
Publisher:Hyperion Books for Children
Publication date:May 5, 2009
Number of pages:381
Publisher's recommended age(s):10 - 14
Read aloud:10
Read alone:11

This review of The Last Olympian: Percy Jackson and the Olympians, Book 5 was written by

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Adult Written byDrSpongebob January 21, 2010
AGE
10
QUALITY
 

Best Conclusion Ever Since LOTR 3

The title says it all. This is one of the best conclusions to a series I have read since Lord of the Rings. Definitely more violent than the others, it is a very good book that really made me sad that the series was over. It gives lots of messages throughout the entire book involving friendship, and standing up for what you believe. If you son or you like the other books you are going to go bananas over this one. Enjoy!^_^
What other families should know
Educational value
Great messages
Great role models
Parent of a 7 and 10 year old Written bystuhlly December 9, 2009
AGE
10
QUALITY
 
I LOVE IT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
What other families should know
Too much violence
Great messages
Parent of a 2, 4, 6, and 8 year old Written byjennwhitmer October 14, 2010
AGE
10
QUALITY
 
I enjoyed the story, and it's action packed. The biggest problem is with the way the demigods were conceived. There is a lot of talk about the gods sleeping with humans to make the demigods. Until your child is ready to understand babies out of marriage, this book isn't for him.
What other families should know
Too much sex
Too much swearing
Educational value

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